Coroner records open verdict on girl's death; slams school staff

July 24, 2015 12:44
Shek Ling (inset), vice principal of CCC Kei Chun Primary School, has come under fire over her testimony into a death of a 10-year-old girl student. Photos:, Apple Daily

A coroner returned an open verdict Thursday after an investigation into a 10-year-old girl who fell to her death at her school building in 2013.

Coroner Ko Wai-hung said the evidence was not conclusive enough to determine whether the girl's death was suicide or an accident, Ming Pao Daily reported.

But the forensic examination suggested that the nature of injury was consistent with falling from a height, he said.

Meanwhile, he severely criticized some school staff over their testimonies regarding the incident which happened at a Kwai Chung school in December 2013.

A vice-principal of the school -- a person named Shek Ling -- was especially taken to task, with her testimony deemed to be "full of nonsense and lies" during an inquest into the girl's death.

Law Cheuk-ki was found lying dead on a basketball court at CCC Kei Chun Primary School in Kwai Chung on December 9, 2013. She was in the fifth-grade at that time.

Following a forensic investigation, Ko determined that Law fell from a height, but said he couldn't conclude whether it was an accident or if the girl had taken her own life.

Delivering his verdict, the coroner lashed out at senior school staff, especially the two vice principals -- Shek Ling and Ko Yuen-wah -- over their handling of the crisis and "dishonest" testimonies. 

The oral evidence presented by the school teachers and vice principals will be handed over to the police and the Department of Justice so that the authorities can determine if there is a case for criminal prosecution, Ko said.

Yu Huen, director of education services from the Hong Kong Christian Council of the Church of Christ of China, which operates the CCC Kei Chun Primary School, said the school board will study the verdict to decide if any disciplinary action is warranted against some staff.

The Education Bureau, meanwhile, also said that it will study the verdict before deciding on any follow-up action.

- Contact us at [email protected]